3 Tips For Being A Caregiver For A Loved One With Dementia
Dementia is an especially difficult disease for caregivers to deal with. As their loved one declines, there are often new challenges and risks to worry about. If you are a caregiver for someone with dementia, many resources can make your job a little easier.
Invest In GPS Tracking
People with dementia may wander away from home. If this occurs during extreme weather conditions, your loved one can succumb to heat or cold within a short period of time. GPS tracking systems can be discreet, such as a watch, and should be difficult for your loved one to remove. When choosing a system, find ones with the longest battery life possible. You might even consider systems that allow you to set a perimeter for your loved one, so you immediately know if they wander beyond a pre-set location. As a caregiver, it is impossible to watch your loved one 24/7 without assistance. Using GPS tracking can give you some peace of mind that they are still within the home.
Find A Sitter
Many in-home nursing agencies also provide basic services like being a sitter or helping your loved one with simple tasks throughout the day. Even if your loved one has not reached a point in their disease where they are dependent on others for routine care, having a sitter can be useful to keep them safe and give caregivers a break. Often time, caregivers must maintain employment and/or family life while trying to provide care for someone else. This way, you can feel comfortable that your loved one is not trying to cook without supervision, which becomes a fire hazard in people with dementia. You might need a sitter for a few hours each day, even if you are a full-time caregiver, so you can sleep or tend to your personal needs.
Think About A Facility
Unfortunately, there will be a point in your loved one's illness that staying at home can make unreasonable demands on their family or the expense can be impossible to manage. Since there are many facilities with dedicated wings for residents with dementia, you can feel assured they will not wander away from the property. Furthermore, some of these facilities prepare meals for their residents and have dining halls where they can interact with other residents. This eliminates the risk associated with starting fires, but it also means they are in the company of others while eating. As the disease progresses, eating and drinking might turn into a choking hazard, and you will want people around if your loved one has reached this stage of disease progression.
Dementia often takes a physical and emotional toll on caregivers. Fortunately, there are various resources to either keep your loved one at home or help them make the transition to a more secure environment. Contact a company like Ameristaff Nursing Services for more information and assistance.